Somewhere in the world there may be a train line that covers more gastronomic territory than the B and V subway lines, which start in southernmost Brooklyn and end deep in Queens, but if there is, we don’t know about it. For the next twenty-odd weeks, we’ll be riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway.
This Week: West 4th Street
So much to look at near the West 4th Street station! There’s the former site of KFC–Taco Bell, home to the most notorious rat infestation in recent history; the most over-storied basketball court in the city; a series of winding, student-crowded streets; and the best doner-kebab sandwich in New York City at Yatagan Kebab House.
The eternal battle: Man vs. Wad.Photo: Melissa Hom
Walk down West 3rd, hang a right on Macdougal, and you will be confronted with a massive rotating wad of glistening lamb. Unlike the other wads on the street, this one isn’t a preformed mass of chopped mystery meat; it’s genuine lamb breast and shoulder, ground fresh every day, its layers interspersed with whole slices of lamb. Turning endlessly, in its slow, hypnotic orbit, the lamb acquires a brown crust, which when sliced onto a fresh pita and dressed with crisp thick onions and a delicate white sauce, makes one of the city’s great street meals. The man who duels with the wad wields his machete in your service quickly; you’ll be back on the train in no time. Though after a doner sandwich like that, watching a game at the basketball cage might be just what you need.